Saturday, September 25, 2021

Buying New vs. Old Build: Which Is Better & Why?

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When hunting for a new property, the first question on most people’s minds is whether to plump for a new build, or opt for the charm of an older house.

To help you decide, we as a Brixton estate agent have put together a quick guide with some of the pros and cons of different types of properties.

Buying a New Build

The number of new properties built in England last year was at a six-year high, meaning there are plenty of options out there for buyers who want to buy new.

New homes are attractive to buyers as they come with a 10-year new build guarantee from the builders and they’re unlikely to need much maintenance – for the first few years at least.

As a rule, new builds come with excellent thermal properties, having well insulated walls and double-glazing as standard. They come fitted out to a high specification, and offer buyers a blank canvas – a chance to place their own personal stamp on a property.

If you opt for a new build you’re far less likely to be caught up in a tangled moving chain, and you have the opportunity to build a new community with your new neighbours, which is far less daunting for some people than moving into a place where everybody knows each other.

Buying an Old Build

On the flip side, if you’re after a bit of character you really cannot beat an older property. Yes, old properties generally need more work, but that gives you scope to make some significant home improvements – dramatically increasing the value of your property.

Older homes may not be as energy efficient as newer builds, but on the plus side, their walls are generally thicker so there is less chance of hearing other people in the house through those thin plasterboard walls. And the rooms are unique and spacious, instead of the boxy appearance of many new builds with small windows which don’t let in much natural light.

Old buildings have had time to establish themselves a little. The gardens have seen a little love and attention, instead of being boxy spaces with a little bit of grass.

In addition, older buildings are in established neighbourhoods, so you can ask about your neighbours before moving in, and there’s likely to be a neighbourhood watch scheme in operation which will help you feel more secure.

Finally, you’re more likely to have some decent space around an old home – many new builds are crammed together on housing estates, designed to house as many people as possible. Which can limit the size of your garden and make you feel overlooked, whereas many older properties have a little more privacy.

Essentially, there are pros and cons to both new builds and old properties, and both types of property have their admirers and their detractors. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of personal taste. Buyers need to weight up the pros and cons for their own situation, before making the best decision for them.

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Peter Black
Freelance blogger, main interests being real estate, property investment and green investments. studied in London, live in London, born in London. Chelsea fan!

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